girdwood-alaska-bore-tide-wave-surfingSurfers on the bore tide wave near
viewing turnout @ Milepost 94.1
Photo by Bacon & Cheese Productions

The Alaska Bore Tide: What, When, Where, Why & Who?


What?

The Turnagain Arm bore tide is basically a wave formed when a super low tide and a super high tide crash into each other in the narrow and shallow Turnagain Arm. The wave can come twice a day and is often surfed by local riders, who are sometimes able to surf a very long time on 5-10 foot faces.

It occurs 2-3 hours after the low tide time in Anchorage, Alaska. It is total luck (and anyone is so lucky!) on any given day to see the bore tide, as shifting, silty mud, icebergs and rivers of Turnagain Arm make for an ever-changing and unpredictable creature. Usually, a minus low tide and a high tide about 27 feet are required to make a wave big enough to surf.

This page was made possible, thanks to the kind sponsorship from The Herbal Cache, Girdwood’s first & only cannabis store.
When?

View the complete
2019-2021 Girdwood Bore Tide Schedule

Where?

Bore Tide is best viewed on the Seward Highway at the 4th or 5th turnout towards Anchorage. However, it can be viewed at all 5 turnouts with about an hour difference from the 5th to the 1st spot.

Click on the map below to go to a Google Map page with directions and more detail.

bore-tide-viewing-spots

Why?

Image is from a “Bore Tide” poster at Bird Point Rest stop. Installed and produced The Alaska Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation

For more information, please go to the following web pages and stories. They do a great job of explaining all the details of the bore tide and why it happens.

Surfing Alaska’s Bore Tide – by Alan Taylor for “The Atlantic”
HTTPS://WWW.THEATLANTIC.COM/PHOTO/2014/08/SURFING-ALASKAS-BORE-TIDE/100787/

Alaska Public Land Information Centers
HTTPS://WWW.ALASKACENTERS.GOV/EXPLORE/CULTURE/NATURE/BORE-TIDES

Visit Anchorage
HTTPS://WWW.ANCHORAGE.NET/BLOG/ALASKA-BORE-TIDE-VIEWING/

Atlas Obscura
HTTPS://WWW.ATLASOBSCURA.COM/PLACES/TURNAGAIN-ARM-BORE-TIDE

Alaska.org
HTTPS://WWW.ALASKA.ORG/ADVICE/ALASKA-BORE-TIDE

Who?





Paddleboarding-in-Turnagain-Arm
Surfer and small bore wave, near
viewing turnout @ Milepost 91.4  
Photo by Bacon & Cheese Producutions